Fujifilm FinePix X100 In-Depth Review
The actual sensitivity of each indicated ISO is measured using the same shots as are used to measure ISO noise levels, we simply compare the exposure for each shot to the metered light level (using a calibrated Sekonic L-358), middle gray matched. We estimate the accuracy of these results to be +/- 1/6 EV (the margin of error given in the ISO specifications). Note that these tests are based on the sRGB JPEG output of the cameras, in accordance with ISO 12232:2006, the standard used by camera manufacturers.
By our tests, the X100's measured sensitivities are about 1/6 stop lower than indicated (i.e. images are fractionally darker than expected for any given set of exposure values), which is within the tolerance allowed by the ISO specification.
Noise and Noise Reduction (JPEG)
Note: this page features our new interactive noise comparison widget. By default, we show you the default noise reduction settings of the camera tested, and three other models of the same class. You can select from all available NR options, and from other cameras. The 'tricolor' patches beneath the familiar gray/black/portrait images are taken from the same test chart, and show how noise impacts upon blue, green and red areas of a scene.
ISO range noise comparison
The X100 does extremely well in these tests, giving remarkably detailed, low-noise images across almost all of the ISO range. Image detail only starts to visibly deteriorate at ISO 3200, and even at ISO 6400 the results are pretty impressive. At the maximum JPEG-only sensitivity of ISO 12800, detail and colour saturation are both visibly degraded.
In comparing to the other cameras in this group, it's important to bear in mind that the Nikon D7000's ISOs are underrated by about 1/3 stop, making a total half stop difference compared to the X100 (the X1 and E-PL2 are, however, within 1/6 stop of the X100). Despite this the X100 holds up extremely well against the competition, producing cleaner, more detailed results than the Leica X1 at all ISOs, and pulling visibly ahead of the Olympus E-PL2 in terms of fine, low-contrast detail at ISO 800 and above. It's at least a match for the Nikon D7000 across the range too, despite its older sensor design. Very, very impressive.
JPEG Noise reduction settings
The X100 has five JPEG noise reduction settings - here we compare the weakest and strongest to the default 'Normal' setting. There's little visible difference at ISO 100 and 200, but at ISO 400 and above the NR settings have a progressively larger impact. The settings on offer cover a useful range of tradeoffs between fine detail and visible noise: we actually think that the Normal setting is very well-judged, but if you want less noise at the expense of fine detail, or more detail but a grittier, noisier image, the option is there.
Effect of DR setting on measured noise
The X100 has two dynamic range expansion settings to increase its highlight range; DR200 (200%) adds a stop of information in the highlights, and DR400 (400%) adds two stops. However because of the way they work these expanded DR settings can't be used across the full range of ISOs; DR200 is only available at ISO 400 and above, and DR400 at ISO 800 and above. We'll dissect this in detail later, but in this section we'll first take a quick look at their effect on JPEG noise levels.
What's striking on looking at these tests, either the graphs or the crops, is that the expanded DR settings have to all intents and purposes no noise penalty at any given ISO; all the available DR settings measure identically, and more importantly the image crops are visually indistinguishable. For chroma and grey noise at least this is absolutely expected; for black noise it's a sign that Fuji has got read noise (i.e. the noise added to the image by the camera's electronics) under good control.
This isn't quite the whole story, though. Because noise inevitably increases with ISO, it's still the case that using DR100 at ISO 200 will a result in cleaner image than DR200 at ISO 400 or DR400 at ISO 800. Free lunches, as always, are in short supply.
RAW noise (ACR 6.4 - noise reduction set to zero)
Here we look at the RAW files processed through Adobe Camera Raw (in this case version 6.4). Images are brightness matched and processed with all noise reduction options set to zero.
Adobe does a degree of noise reduction even when the user-controlled NR is turned off. The amount of NR applied 'under the hood' is not high, but it does vary by camera (Adobe is attempting to normalize output across different sensors), so inevitably we are still looking at a balance of noise and noise reduction, rather than pure noise levels. However, the use of the most popular third-party RAW converter is intended to give a photographically relevant result, rather than simply comparing sensor performance in an abstract manner.
The similarity of both the figures and the appearance of these crops suggests they tell us as much about Adobe's ability to normalize the various cameras' outputs as about the cameras themselves. The X100 won't record raw files at ISO 100 and 12800, but across the available ISO range it's producing excellent results, with impressively low visible noise and high levels of detail retention. It does notably better than either the Olympus E-PL2 or Leica X1, producing results to rival the Nikon D7000. Switching to graph view simply confirms its low-noise credentials.
|A house for sneakers by fotoselect|
from Feet, shoes, anything to do with HUMAN feet
|A Sunday Stroll by TexasGal|
from call any vegetable
|Green roots by cand1d|
from Lichen and moss
|Start of study by Shirsendu Bandyopadhyay|
from Seven Story plots - Rebirth
Video editing software package Video Pro X has received what is described as its biggest update yet to mark ten years since Magix Video Pro was launched.
Back in 2010, Canon announced that it was developing the world's largest CMOS sensor, measuring about 40 times larger than full frame. The company has just updated its website with more details.
Samyang has launched its latest lens, the Samyang AF 85mm F1.4 EF. This telephoto prime is a direct competitor to Canon's $1,600 alternative—and considering it's expected to retail for half the price, it looks like quite the bargain.
Scanning film takes forever and photographing negatives is a pain. The Pixl-latr aims to provide a simple solution.
Google has published an 18-page study fully detailing its synthetic depth-of-field technology that makes its single-camera Portrait Mode possible. The in-depth paper shows a degree of openness and academic mindset unusual for the industry.
Rugged, waterproof compact cameras are tough enough to survive even the most action-packed vacation, but they're not the only choice for capturing those great memories. Photographer Josh Root takes us through the options.
Kodak has restarted production of one of its most famous film emulsions - Ektachrome. Popular Science editor Stan Horaczek recently go to take a look inside.
The Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD is an affordable F2.8 standard zoom for full frame Sony E-mount cameras. What's it like, what are the trade-offs, and what are the alternatives? Chris and Jordan take a closer look...
We've updated our Best Drones buying guide and there's a new winner. Find out which drone was our favorite and learn more about all current models in our updated guide.
A teardown of a Nikon D850 has provided proof that the camera's sensor is made by Sony Semiconductor. The chip's design and performance already strongly supported this, but the confirmation also gives a hint about how the industry works.
Leica Camera has announced a new compact camera that features a 24-360mm F3.3-6.4 zoom lens and a 20MP 1” MOS sensor. Essentially a re-badged Panasonic Lumix ZS/TZ200, the Leica C-Lux will save Raw and JPEG files, will offer 4K video and has a viewfinder with a 2.33 million-dot resolution.
Leica has launched a limited edition M10 with a contoured handgrip designed by luxury car manufacturer Zagato. And, to celebrate the opening of a new part of the company's Wetzlar factory, a pair of Leica-made watches are due this autumn.
The new Mijia gimbal provides 3-axis stabilization and can charge the battery of the attached device.
YouTuber George Tomlin explains the concept of sub-framing and details how you can use it to take not only make the composition more interesting, but also provide context for the scene you're shooting.
British photographer Drew Gardner tells us how his gigapixel image of the queen's birthday parade came together.
YouTube channel Company Man has shared a 12-minute video explaining the history of Kodak and the factors that led to it going from industry leader to bankrupt business.
Neewer, a photo gear brand out of China, has launched a new budget APS-C lens for Fuji X and Sony E mounts. The Fuji X mount lens offering has appeared on Amazon as a new release with a $119.99 price tag, but is currently listed as unavailable.
Two years after launching its first photo filter, Aurora Aperture is back at it again with the Kickstarter launch of its PowerXND Mark II filters.
Nikon has announced the development of the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm F5.6E PF ED VR lens. Thanks to its use of 'phase fresnel' optics, Nikon claims that the lens will be small and light enough to be used handheld.
MIOPS has opened up a Kickstarter campaign for its latest product, the Capture360. This pocket-sized device is a versatile motion control box designed to be as simple or robust as your needs desire.
Lowepro has released the FreeLine BP 350 AW, an all-new daypack that features Lowepro's adaptive interior divider system it calls QuickShelf.
Currently seeking funding on Kickstarter, the Instant Magny 35 supports Fujifilm Instax Square film and doesn't require any camera modifications. The instant film back is described as ideal for rangefinders and SLRs from Pentax, Leica, Olympus, Canon, and Nikon.
Utah-based tripod manufacturer Really Right Stuff has updated all 17 of its tripods with updated features and better ergonomics.
The new Technical Camera app offers comprehensive manual controls and a range of features for users who prefer to take control of the capture process.
Someone finally made a 1"-sensor compact with a fixed prime lens that can take great photos, but it's aimed at Scuba enthusiasts more so than land-based photographers and has a few operational quirks.
Leica has released details of the twelve finalists for this year’s Leica Oskar Barnack Award, one of who will take the €35,000 (approx. $41K) top prize. Organizers say that 2500 photographers submitted work to the competition this year.
One week after it was first seen in leaked images, Samyang—also known as Rokinon in the US—has unveiled a ‘tiny but wide’ 24mm F2.8 lens for full-frame Sony cameras.
Whether you're hitting the beach in the Northern Hemisphere or the ski slopes in the Southern, a rugged compact camera makes a great companion. In this buying guide we've taken a look at seven current models and chosen our favorites.
Every photographer knows about APS-C sensors, but what about APS film? This week, Chris and Jordan take a stroll down memory lane and try out the original APS format, a technology that promised to streamline the film workflow, but which ultimately lost out to digital technology.